Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunshine and Clouds

I am usually an annoyingly cheerful sort, at least in public.  Hey, make a joke!  Lighten up, people, don't be a downer.  Diffusing.  Diplomatic.  (Doc would probably have a different sort of story to tell you about me, but he is with me just about every minute and so he sees me at my worst and most complicated, and has given me many nicknames over the years to reflect this truth.  Yesterday, I pitched a tantrum and threw a pair of dull scissors across the room, and I am not kidding.  That's not the norm, at least I don't think so, but don't get comfortable!)  These days, though.  Seriously, how have we come to this?  I can't even talk about it, really, because I just get SO WORKED UP, and then my eyes get all puffy again, and--note to self--I am doing what I can.  I really have to think about other things now.  There is so much to be happy about.  "It is a serious thing//just to be alive/on this fresh morning/in the broken world." That's the brilliant Mary Oliver, who is such a balm.  Read her, I mean it.  Go, now.  
Meanwhile, there is my daily practice of showing up for art.  "Art." Please rest assured, I know that these are not "good", nor "real",  nor "art", although (as I mentioned earlier) that is not the goal, so I don't know why I feel like explaining...and probably a roomful of college freshmen could debate the question What Is Art until the beer ran out, and in doing so raise a lot of interesting points, and maybe I'll do that someday.  Meanwhile, I find it sort of revealing to look at these little practice things, these little snippets of time I spend showing up in front of a (okay, it's small) piece of white paper and doing something to it.  I just sit down, open the paint box, and start.  No do-overs.  Just do something, anything.  It hasn't happened every day, because, you know, life.  And I would say that in the past thirty days, I have painted exactly nothing "good" in this exercise, but that's not what I'm trying to do, and there is a lot of stuff happening in them that pleases me.  Those luscious blooms that you get with wet-on-wet watercolor, and the lucky accidents, and the sudden revelations of negative space.  I'm learning a lot, which is the goal.  And discipline, which is something I hate, and something I need.  Also, it occurs to me, there is so much gray.  Is it just January, rearing it's stupid, colorless, sunless head?  Or what?  Even the knitting is gray, but at least the yarn is Woolfolk Far (thank you, Santa!) which has to count for something.   Knitting that scarf (my own pattern, I'll show you more later) has been such a comfort, though I am taking it intentionally slowly, because, ow, my wrists.  There's no hurry, I have other scarves.  And other gray scarves, let's face it.  I might as well savor the Woolfolk, too, because holy moly, that yarn.  They have yarn figured out, those Woolfolk people.  It is softer than baby hair.  
Hey, is that the sun???  We are alive.  We are!  Alive!  Chew on that with me.  Xoxo